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conductor - Steem Witness Toolkit

conductor is a user friendly, KISS utility for creating, updating and management of your witness.


This tool has been tested on Linux, and requires Python 3.5 or higher.

On Ubuntu, you also need to install libssl-dev for cryptographic utilities.

sudo apt install libffi-dev libssl-dev python3 python3-dev python3-pip

We also need the Python library for Steem.

pip3 install -U git+git://


pip3 install -U git+

First Steps

conductor is built on top of steem-python, and leverages it's BIP38 encrypted wallet to store our witness Active key. This key is required for price feed updates.

To create the wallet, and add our key to it, simply run:

steempy addkey

(Optional) If you wish not to have to type your BIP38 wallet password every time you use conductor, set the UNLOCK environment variable.

export UNLOCK=your-wallet-pw

(Optional) You may also want to set backup RPC nodes to add resilience to conductor.

steempy set nodes,,,

Creating or importing your witness

conductor init

conductor will ask you for your witness (Steem account) name. If the witness already exists, it will import its current settings from the blockchain.

Otherwise, it will guide you trough the setup wizard, and create the witness for you.

Updating your witness

If you wish to change one or more of your witness properties, such as witness url, interest rate, block size, etc., you can do so using conductor update command.

~ % conductor update
What should be your witness URL? []:
How much do you want the account creation fee to be (STEEM)? [0.500 STEEM]:
What should be the maximum block size? [65536]:
What should be the SBD interest rate? [0]: 10

{'props': {'account_creation_fee': '0.500 STEEM',
           'maximum_block_size': 65536,
           'sbd_interest_rate': 10},
 'witness': {'name': 'furion', 'url': ''}}

Do you want to commit the updated values? [y/N]: n
~ %

Generating block signing key-pairs

Each node deployment should have its own signing key, to avoid double-signing. We can generate new random (/dev/urandom based) key-pairs with a simple command:

conductor keygen

Enabling your witness

Enabling your witness is as simple as setting a public signing key. This command can also be used for key rotation (for example, if you're falling back to a backup witness node).

To set a public signing key on your witness run:

conductor enable <PUBLIC_SIGNING_KEY>

Disabling a witness

Sometimes you might want to disable your witness yourself. For example, if you're upgrading your witness server, and don't want to miss any blocks.

To disable your witness run:

conductor disable

Kill Switch

Kill Switch is a witness monitoring utility, that tracks block misses. If your witness server bugs out, and stops producing blocks, this tool will automatically disable your witness to avoid further misses.

To run a killswitch, simply run:

conductor kill-switch

Optionally, we can provide number of blocks number of blocks we are allowed to miss before kill-switch disables our witness. We can achieve this by providing -n argument, like so: conductor kill-switch -n 25. By default -n is 10.

Automatic Failover

We can use the Kill Switch to automatically failover as well. Instead of disabling our witness, the kill-switch can change our signing key to secondary key (backup node), and then monitor that. If all keys provided trough -k flags miss blocks as well, the witness is finally disabled.


conductor kill-switch -n 2 -k <BACKUP_NODE_PUBLIC_SIGNING_KEY> -k <BACKUP_NODE_2> ...

See conductor kill-switch -h for more options.

Price Feeds

Price feeds are a vital component of STEEM ecosystem, as they power SBD->STEEM conversions, as well as rewards estimates. Witnesses act as an oracle between the blockchain and real-world, by providing honest input on what the implied price of STEEM is. Furthermore, the prices may contain bias to loosely support the SBD stablecoin's peg to USD.

conductor ships with markets module from SteemData. This module interfaces with 3rd party exchanges to fetch VWAP (volume weighted average prices) mean (average of VWAP's from all exchanges) prices.

Exchanges Used:
  • Bitstamp, Bitfinex, Kraken, OKCoin for BTC/USD
  • Poloniex, Bittrex for STEEM/BTC and SBD/BTC

To run pricefeeds, simply run:

conductor feed

Peg Support: Price feeds support SBD peg signalling. You can explicitly define whether or not you'd like to introduce bias to your price to support the loose $1 USD == $1 SBD peg. If no option is provided, pegging is disabled by default.

conductor feed --sbd-peg
conductor feed --no-sbd-peg


~ % conductor
Usage: conductor [OPTIONS] COMMAND [ARGS]...

  Steem Witness Toolkit.

  -h, --help  Show this message and exit.

disable      Disable a witness.
enable       Enable a witness, or change key.
feed         Update Price Feeds.
init         Add your witness account.
keygen       Generate a random signing key-pair.
kill-switch  Monitor for misses w/ disable.
status       Print basic witness info.
tickers      Print Tickers.
update       Update witness properties.

There are two additional, read only commands we haven't covered yet. status and tickers. They simply print some info for us.


~ % conductor status
| Enabled | Misses | Key                                                   |
| True    | 105    | STM7WDG2QpThdkRa3G2PYXM7gH9UksoGm4xqoFBrNet6GH7ToNUYx |

{'props': {'account_creation_fee': '0.500 STEEM',
           'maximum_block_size': 65536,
           'sbd_interest_rate': 0},
 'witness': {'name': 'furion', 'url': ''}}

~ %


~ % conductor tickers
| Symbol    |   Price |
| BTC/USD   | 2444.31 |
| SBD/USD   |   1.804 |
| STEEM/USD |    1.19 |
~ %



Pull requests are welcome.


Steem Witness Toolkit








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